High Schools Not Talking Security Careers

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 10:10 AM gHale

There is a shortage of workers today to fill all the open jobs in cyber security, 82 percent of U.S. “millennials” say no high school teacher or guidance counselor ever suggested to them the idea of a career in cyber security, according to a new survey.

Less than one-quarter of young adults aged 18 to 26 believe the career is interesting at all, according to the survey commissioned by Raytheon and conducted by Zogby Analytics.

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“Given that we need to add thousands of cyber security professionals to the workforce in the coming years, the data shows we have a long way to go in engaging young people in the idea of a career path in cyber security,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. “We have to work together to ensure that young people are prepared to use technology safely, securely, ethically and productively and are aware of the interesting and rewarding jobs available protecting the Internet.”

Young men (35 percent) are far more interested than young women (14 percent) in a career in cyber security, according to the survey, which released at the beginning of October just as the U.S. marks the tenth anniversary of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Cyber Security Alliance.

The survey found young adults raised on social networking trust technology and don’t fret over the threat of online identity theft or of their personal data being stolen. Seventy-five percent of survey respondents said they remain confident their friends would only post information about them on the Internet they are comfortable with, and 26 percent said they had never changed their mobile banking password.

The Facebook Generation, sometimes referred to as “Generation F,” includes millennials who have grown up using social networking tools such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

The “Raytheon Millennial Cybersecurity Survey” found despite their risky online behavior, millennials are becoming aware of Internet risks and are taking steps to protect themselves. Millennials usually fall within birth dates from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. Eighty-two percent of millennials password-protect their laptop or desktop computer, the survey found, while 61 percent password-protect their mobile phone. Thirty-seven percent of millennials said they had backed up the data on their laptop or desktop in the last month.

Other survey findings include:
• Thirty percent of millennials have met someone online who gave them a fake photo, false information about their job or education, or other misleading information about themselves
• Twenty percent have had to ask someone to take down personal information posted about them in the last year
• Forty-eight percent have used a portable storage device for their computer that was given to them by someone else
• Eighty-six percent said it is important to increase cyber-security awareness programs in the workforce and in formal education programs

“Today’s millennials are tomorrow’s leaders and their embrace of technology will continue to drive our economy forward,” said Jack Harrington, vice president of cyber-security and special missions for Raytheon’s intelligence, information and services business. “This survey shows the gaps that exist in teaching personal online security to our youth and in our efforts to inspire the next generation of innovators.”

Click here for more details on the report.

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